One of the world’s largest and most influential internet platforms announced that it will formally permit pornography, according to newly published guidelines.

Late last month, X (formerly Twitter) issued new standards regarding “adult content,” which the social media giant defined as “any consensually produced and distributed material depicting adult nudity or sexual behavior that is pornographic or intended to cause sexual arousal. This also applies to AI-generated, photographic or animated content such as cartoons, hentai, or anime.” The new guidelines allow users to share pornographic adult content “provided it’s properly labeled and not prominently displayed.” The guidelines add, “We balance this freedom by restricting exposure to Adult Content for children or adult users who choose not to see it. We also prohibit content promoting exploitation, nonconsent, objectification, sexualization or harm to minors, and obscene behaviors.”

The newly defined guidelines on pornography do not reflect a change in the platform’s policy, as it previously allowed users to post and share sexually explicit content before business magnate Elon Musk purchased the company in 2022.

In comments to The Washington Stand, Mary Szoch, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity, stated, “X’s decision to allow pornography will make it infinitely more difficult for men and women who are striving to live virtuous lives. It will make it even more likely that young boys and girls are exposed to porn at an age where their brain is still developing. What a tragedy.”

She continued, “It’s no exaggeration to say that pornography destroys lives and ruins families. The brains of countless men and women who, often through no fault of their own, find themselves ensnared by this form of evil, are altered in the same way as they would be if they had used drugs. If not treated with the seriousness it deserves, it tears marriages apart. And all of this doesn’t even begin to touch on the impact the pornography industry has on the victims who create the pornography that feeds the industry.”

“Pornography is so exploitive, it’s impossible to ethically produce it or fully ‘consent’ to being part of its production,” commented Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at FRC. “Pornography is at the top of the list of billion-dollar industries on the march to capture our children. That X wants to be officially complicit in platforming this content is deeply disturbing, especially given Elon Musk’s skepticism of the gender cult, so obviously fueled by porn consumption.” Kilgannon also noted that the pornography industry facilitates and profits from human sex trafficking, adding, “We all deserve better than porn. God’s plan for human sexuality is beautiful, unlike the production, distribution, and platforming of the hideous lie that is pornography.”

X’s new guidelines request users who generate or post pornographic content to mark their content as such so that a filter may be placed over it. Users who are reported to X’s content moderators for failing to mark their pornographic content may have their accounts suspended or otherwise penalized. Those who, in X’s words, “choose not to see it” will have the option of either ignoring filtered content and continuing their scrolling or else removing the filter and viewing the content. Users who either register using a birth date denoting them as under the age of 18 or who do not use a birth date when registering will be blocked from removing the filter. There is currently no mechanism to verify ages or ensure birth dates entered are accurate.

“Pornography is perhaps the greatest example of what happens when freedom is not regulated by virtue. In the name of freedom, X has taken the position that it doesn’t regulate anything unless it is illegal,” commented Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview at FRC. “While they claim to be neutral, in reality they will become a tool for evil that will produce very real social consequences.”

He continued, “Having pornography distributed on a site often used for collating news is insidious because it will appear even if you’re not looking for it. States may soon need to pass age verification laws to get on X because X may soon become primarily a place for pornography. Presumably, X is afraid that stopping pornography would be ‘censorship,’ which is true but also appropriate. They are demonstrating the consequences of moral relativism. If you’re afraid to identify something as evil, you’ll never be capable of stopping evil.”

Nearly one third of states across the U.S. currently require age verification processes before accessing pornographic websites, in order to prevent children from viewing pornography. This has resulted in major pornography websites, such as Pornhub, shutting down entirely in several states.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand. Originally published by The Washington Stand.